chapter  14
14 Pages

Theory and practice in the new century

WithPenny Sparke

Unlike modernist architectural and design theory, which had been largely developed by and for architects and designers, post-modern ideas were broader in nature. By the turn of the twentieth century, a process-driven approach towards design had also begun to emerge which involved an analysis of the design activity itself and an attempt to integrate it within a wider set of practices. From the late 1970s up to the early twenty-first century, a range of journals acted as international fora for design researchers’ discussions and debates. From the 1990s onwards, design theorists and practitioners alike sought to bypass the pragmatic, commercial face of design and looked elsewhere in an effort both to reform it and to revitalise its potential to bring about change. By the early twenty-first century, the future of the globalised world had become increasingly challenged by the stability of its financial systems and the sustainability of its environment and its countless social and health problems.